If, like me, you have a collection of old hardware mouldering away in a corner of a room, perhaps you'd like an exciting project with no real redeeming features other than geek points? How's about running a 'net connected BBS on a Commodore 64?
According to Hack a Day
, that's exactly what Lief Bloomquist has done
in what he calls a “moment of nostalgic geekiness
Lief was responsible for running a popular bulletin board system on a Commodore 64 back in the halcyon days of 8-bit computing, but hasn't touched such things in fifteen years. According to Lief, getting the software running on the aging microcomputer was the easy part – but getting the system connected to the Internet so visitors wouldn't have to dial-in on a modem wasn't so simple. In the end, he decided to use a VIC-1011A terminal adaptor to connect the C64 to a modern PC running Windows, which acts as a Telnet bridge between the C64 and the Internet.
The system is available for anyone to play with, at bbs.jammingsignal.com port 23 – although, at the time of writing, the server was down for maintenance.
It's a project dear to my heart, as if I glance over my shoulder I can see my precious Commodore 128 sat gathering dust, awaiting the day when I'm bored and/or crazy enough to attempt something like this myself. Until such a day, my hat is doffed to Lief in gratitude for allowing me to experience the glory days of 8-bit BBS once again.
Do you have any ageing hardware hanging about that could be repurposed, or should people stick to hacking the latest and greatest? Share your thoughts over in the forums